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Re: New feature negotiation syntax

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 00:45:31 PDT
Message-Id: <338D341B.3E27@parc.xerox.com>
To: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Cc: lawrence@agranat.com, yarong@microsoft.com, http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
X-Mailing-List: <http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com> archive/latest/3358
> Larry, I think your account here is a very skewed representation of
> history:

I'm sorry, my hasty note wasn't meant to be a representation
of history, but a representation of the line of reasoning
that would lead one to believe that 'dynamic content' might
actually be the 'right' way to do what TCN is trying to do.

Perhaps it is a specious argument, but you should consider
seriously whether the real world cases for actual content
negotiation can actually be satisfied by the simplified
conditionals available in TCN; we have at least one vendor
who says "no, it's not adequate, dynamic content is better."

The point of 'running code' is not merely to demonstrate
'can this be implemented?' but also 'is it effective, when
implemented, in satisfying the requirements?'

Unfortunately, we don't have a separate document laying out
what the requirements ARE, and different individuals have
different intuitions about this. Thus, there are some differing
assumptions between those trying to evaluate the proposal.

Yaron has taken the point of view that after evaluating the
requirements that his company hears from their customers, that
"dynamic content" is a better solution to those sets of problems.

Others, who most likely have different customers, may disagree,
but perhaps not because they disagree on the technical evaluation
but rather that they are trying to address a different set of

> I don't see this progression to a turing complete language.

The problem is that it *isn't* a turing-complete language, so
you can't write arbitrary programs to determine content.

> If Microsoft decides that they want to do negotiation only with
> scripting languages, this implies that they want to provide an
> infrastructure for content `best negotiated with MSIE'. 

In the real world, there are more deployed implementations of
Java and JavaScript (running on different platforms) than there
are deployed implementations of TCN, so this is hardly a 
'best negotiated with MSIE' case.

Received on Thursday, 29 May 1997 00:48:52 UTC

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